SSOs and Rain Storms

After Tuesday’s heavy rains Sullivan’s Island experienced a sanitary sewer overflow, or SSO for short.  You can read more about it here.  A SSO occurs when raw sewage overflows the system of pipes and sewers designed to collect it and transport it to a sewage treatment plant.

EPA estimates that as many as 75,000 SSOs occur nationwide every year.  SSOs can occur for many reasons including: blockages, line brakes, vandalism, and inflow and infiltration or rainwater.  In the last 3 months 17 SSOs occurred in our watershed.  Check where they occurred here:

View Sanitary Sewer Overflows in a larger map

More than half of the SSOs in our watershed in the last 3 months were caused by inflow and infiltration of rainwater after heavy rain events.  Your local water and sewer authority should have a program designed to find and correct the defects that allow rainwater into the sewage collection system.  These programs cost a lot of money.  As a member of the community we encourage you to support these efforts because they help to protect our swimmable and harvestable waterways.

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